Monday, 5 June 2017

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 4 (afternoon and evening) - Zanjân province - Soltaniyeh - The Unesco designated Sultan Mohammad Khoda - Bandeh Mausoleum - The 12th of May 2017

We headed towards the Zanjân province after lunch and stopped at Soltaniyeh, where the Royal citadel  pertaining to the Ilkhanid dinasty once stood and specifically the Unesco designated Sultan Mohammad Khodabandeh Mausoleum constructed between 1303 and 1313, which we were to visit.

Its dome, said to be the oldest double-shell dome in Iran, was imposing enough from a distance, but more so as we made our way to the entrance of the Mausoleum and subsequently got closer.

The bright blue colour of the dome contrasted and yet highlighted the brick structure of the building and once we started looking at its numerous details, both on the outside but definitely in its interior, despite undergoing restoration, it made sense to consider it one of the most outstanding works of Persian and Islamic architecture, with its rather unique Kufic, Solth and Arabesque inscriptions and decorations, as well as intricate brick patterns and decorative hexagone tiles, to mention just a few.

I won't talk about architectural aspects I don't know trusting that pictures will speak for themselves this time and if I consider I've taken  too many there are a lot I would still like to have taken.

Picture of an airview picture (left).

The more I looked around the more I felt like photographing, particularly details though I do clearly remember that at one specific moment throughout the visit I felt I was tired of turning up and down, walking back and forth and feeling as a crazy-like and unstable visitor, in need of capturing every little thing, which is, as we all know, ultimately impossible, so from then on I just stood motionless and let my eyes wander about.

I wish I had brought some of the little gifts I normally bring for the children because as we walked out a fairly small boy came smiling in my direction and all I could do was smile back.

By the time we reached the hotel we would be staying at I was extremely tired, particularly because the historic information provided by the conférencier had become too specific and at times dense, which in turn didn't allow us (those who like myself were mere attentive listeners and not the few potential historians to be, who wrote down almost every word he said) to "absorb" and thoroughly admire what we came across as being noteworthy without being exhausted.

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